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ConfusedDadNH
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Reged: 10/28/09
Posts: 37
Loc: NH
Guidance
      #636738 - 02/25/10 05:52 AM

I have good days and bad days.....

I have posted in the past and received amazing feedback and support regarding a likely divorce.My question or request in this post has to do with moving-on mentally......

My wife is sick. She is very depressed and an alcoholic - but will not get treatment for either. She has lost all of her friends except for just a few otehr heavy drinkers with problem marriages (birds of a feather). She is not the same person I married and is absolutely convinced that her life will not get better until she moves-on and relives the lost years of her youth.

I have been in therapy for 3+ years and am finally feeling like I am beginning to break the cycle of emotional codependentcy and have an identity again. SOme days I feel great and can make a clear seperation between the women she is now and the women she once was, other days its is an amazing struggle as she still shows affection and has regret about how she feels (fleeting at best).

I have "convinced" myself that she is gone, whether its today or next month or next year. She is in a alcohol and depressed fueled fantasy and no matter how much I give her support, love and balance that until she decides to get better for herself (not me) that all is lost...and I do not see that happening. I have tried to get her into AA and back on meds but she wont.

Anyway, jumping ahead, I have immense anxiety about what life will be like without her, even when I convince myself that I will be happier, stronger and a better father to the kids once her disfunction is gone. BUT, how in the hell does one move on after spending 21 years (I was 18 when we met) with the same person -SHE IS MY LIFE? I feel like everywhere I look she is a part of it, everytime I build confidence up it is torn down at the mere thought of being alone. Most days I can deal with the divorce and can reconcile the facts in my mind and weigh the positives and no in my heart of heart it is the best thing for teh long term ...BUT then this overwhelming emotional dread will just take control. If it is this bad now WTF happens the first day she is gone....


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Annie7676
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Reged: 06/05/05
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Re: Guidance [Re: ConfusedDadNH]
      #636748 - 02/25/10 07:01 AM

You are in a tough spot and the positives are that you are in therapy for yourself. If your wife will not seek help there is not a thing you can do.

I wonder about your children, you didn't mention their ages. Having a mom who drinks and has emotional problems has just got to be very stressful for them and NOT a healthy environment. Are they in counseling to help them with their issues?

As another thread discussed in this forum, marriage is supposed to be for life, for better or worse but if it is unhealthy, then does that mean we all have to stay in relationships that are like this? I don't think so.

The best advice I can give is to move on with your life, just because you get divorced does not mean it maybe forever. Maybe the separation will make her get help and put her life back together, who knows.

As for wondering how it will be when she isn't in your life? Is it that good now that you will miss the dynamics of a woman who drinks and is emotionally distraught? Is that a good environment for you and your kids?

My mother was an alcoholic for many years while I was a child, it was awful, what I experienced was very troubling and has left scars emotionally. I would not wish that on anyone least of all children. Children are innocent victims of alcoholics but the lasting effects can go into adulthood with them.

If you do decide to get divorced, get them the help they need for the adjustment and what they need to make them functional and help understand the illness of alcoholism and mental illness. Its not her fault but not seeking help is just not good.

We are all alone whether we are married or single. Aren't you alone now? Is your wife your partner, your lover, your confident, a dual parent with you? Are your best interests as a couple and parents first and foremost?

What happens when she is gone? Well you can begin to build your life and discover who you are, you can focus on being a great parent to your kids, you can still be a friend to your wife but make her understand she needs to seek help to become the woman she "used" to be. She has got to be part of that deal.

If you dont do anything your life will continue the way it is going, many years of the same. No one deserves that even though marriage is supposed to be for life, until death do us part, through sickness and health.

Sometimes people need to lose it all before they take that first step. She may have the same feelings of aloneness that you do. I guess you could try some sort of intervention and see where that goes.

I wish you all the best, you are in a very hard place.

But in all of this, whether you stay or leave we do move and get through it.


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ConfusedDadNH
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Reged: 10/28/09
Posts: 37
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Re: Guidance [Re: Annie7676]
      #636812 - 02/25/10 10:49 AM

Thank you very much Annie (sniffle)..I needed to hear that. I to am an adult child of an alcholic, My Dad won custody of me and my siblings 30 years ago and the wounds are still deep. In a cruel twist of fate history is repeating itself.

My kids are 10,8 and 6 and the older one is keenly aware of his Mon's drinking and "red wine nights" based on some nasty instances that occured and continue to occur. I spoke to my therapist about getting the kids in counsuling but I cannot do that without her consent (I guess its a law), and given that she does not think she has a problem, the best I could do is get recommendations and sit tight. When divorce filing happens the lawyer I spoke with said I could make an expedited request for alcohol treatment for her, and therapy for the kids as immediate steps. My lawyer seems to think i would have very little issue getting primary and legal custody, given my unique circumstances and history.

Everything you said is so true, I copied it my journal so I can go back and read your words whenever I get the feeling of bottomless dread that frequently overtakes me..I think i will be reading it alot in the coming months.

Thank you SO MUCH!


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Annie7676
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Re: Guidance [Re: ConfusedDadNH]
      #636834 - 02/25/10 11:16 AM

That seems insane that you can't put your kids in therapy without her consent...I would work to get that issue taken care of immediately.

There is NOTHING WORSE in this world then to have an innocent baby (s) be subjected to a drunken parent. They do not deserve this and the sooner an intervention is set up the sooner they can get some help. As you know the memories of a drunken parent will last for a lifetime unless something drastic changes with the parent and they can turn their life around and BEG their children's forgiveness.

Children look to their parents for love and strength. Not a drunken a$$ of a parent. I feel very strongly about this, its abuse to me and I will not back down from using that strong term. I am old of a generation that looked the other way, today they dont.

I would pursue getting the children help as soon as possible. As for your wife, unless she seeks help herself how can you expedite anything?

As I said maybe she needs to reach rock bottom, a divorce, to catch her attention and bring her back to where she needs to be.

Again I wish you luck.

I dont mean to sound harsh but having experienced the dysfunction of an alcoholic parent for my formative years I will not make any type of excuse for them.

Children should be cherished and loved unconditionally
WHAT KIND OF MOTHER DOES THIS TO HER CHILDREN?


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SweetLight
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Reged: 01/07/10
Posts: 2060
Re: Guidance [Re: ConfusedDadNH]
      #637351 - 02/27/10 10:19 AM

I'm sorry to hear what you all are going through. Alcoholism is a disease, and once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. There is recovery, but it is ongoing.

You can't make her get into treatment, or make her take any meds. She has to want it for herself, first and foremost.

I'm sorry you and your children are suffering, too. Alcoholism is a very selfish/self-centered disease. Often times, those surrounded by the alcoholic suffer the most.

It's possible you may need her consent to get some counseling for the children. But what about Al-Anon meetings for you? And Al-Ateen meetings for the children that are old enough to participate? I strongly recommend searching for meetings in your area. They are free (they do pass a basket to throw in a buck or two), and VERY helpful.

I got involved in Al-Anon about 5 years ago. The meetings, reading material, tools, and support system are fantastic. My father is an alcoholic, has been in AA for 19 years, and my sister went into AA about 2 1/2 years ago.

Someone over there needs to get better, it may as well be you and your children.

Here's the link to find a meeting near you (remove the space in the w's). Take care and keep your chin up. Things will get better.

w ww.al-anon.alateen.org/meetings/meeting.html


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ConfusedDadNH
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Reged: 10/28/09
Posts: 37
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Re: Guidance [Re: SweetLight]
      #637477 - 02/28/10 07:29 PM

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience Sweetlight. I found a local Alanon meeting this Wednesday at 10:00am...wish me luck!

My oldest is only 10 and although he had observed a lot from his Mother (being sworn at, her screaming, talking strange, threats, abandonment etc) I would need her consent for an alateen visit. It is something I will ask the lawyer about.

Thanks again for the advice.


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SweetLight
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Re: Guidance [Re: ConfusedDadNH]
      #637503 - 02/28/10 10:14 PM

I didn't share that much experience, but you're welcome!

I do wish you the best with your Al-Anon meeting! I'm glad you found one and I hope you make it part of your new rountine of self care. Al-Anon changes my perspective on life. It's an ongoing process, but it certainly gives me a healthy perspective each and every time *I choose* to tap into those ideas, thoughts, tools, and guidance. Hmmm....guidance, wasn't that the title of your thread?

I think you will benefit tremendously from Al-Anon. Particularly because you have an alcoholic mother. We grew up with coping mechanisms, and they may have been useful at that time. We don't need those coping mechanisms anymore in our adult lives, but we tend to repeat those thoughts, behaviors, and coping mechanisms. Al-Anon will help you begin to live YOUR life, not play a part in someone else's life. It helps you keep the focus on YOU, and what's important to you.

I really don't think you need your wife's consent for Al-Ateen for your children, but your attorney would know best. Ask that question when you go to your meeting. Also ask about what ages are ok to attend the Al-Ateen meetings there, they often accept children younger than teens.

I wish you the best. Keep me posted, and feel free to pm me. Take care.


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VanajaGhose
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Reged: 11/14/09
Posts: 40
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Guidance [Re: SweetLight]
      #638385 - 03/04/10 07:50 AM

While I feel sorry for your situation and what you are going through - you HAVE to take some responsibility for what is happening to your children - as they are the innocent ones whose lives are being shaped by their environment. They didn't ask for this.

You can't make you wife (or anyone else for that matter) do anything they don't want to - so quit "trying". It won't work. Instead, focus on what you must do for your children - never mind about your feelings (sorry for being a little tough here, but you are the adult and you have a responsibility to them). And if that means you getting out from there with your children and filing for divorce - then do that. Yes, it will hurt for quite some time, but you WILL get over it. On the other hand, your kids may never recover.

Please do what is best for your children.

--------------------
Vanaja Ghose
Professional Life Coach
DivorcedToDazzling.com


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sadad
member


Reged: 01/01/10
Posts: 103
Re: Guidance [Re: VanajaGhose]
      #641066 - 03/13/10 05:25 PM

Heres a thought......

DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO FOR YOUR KIDS!!!

That helped me tremendously! My wife cheeted on me and it hurt! IT HURT BAD! There were times when I felt sorry for her and many more times that I felt sorry for myself!

I made it a point to put my son's and daughter's face in my head when I got to that!

You do what you have to do for your kids...PERIOD!!!

Put you helmet on, tighten your chin strap, and get your but in the game!!

Keep your head up high!!

Your not the husband of.... "that"(your wife)
You are the father of ....those!! (your kids)

--------------------
It takes a "special" person to cheat.
Once a cheater always a cheater!


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lanifly
recently joined


Reged: 03/24/10
Posts: 2
Re: Guidance [Re: Annie7676]
      #644419 - 03/24/10 09:37 AM

Your situation sounds so similar to mine. :( and i'm sorry for that. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

STBXH was not an alcoholic but has bipolar disorder that he refuses to seek treatment for.

I don't have any useful guidance for you other than to focus on yourself and the kids and keep putting one foot in front of the other.


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bk110452
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Reged: 03/23/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Guttenberg, N.J.
Re: Guidance [Re: lanifly]
      #645755 - 03/27/10 08:23 PM

Having had very similar feelings (anxiety,etc) when I moved on with my life over 10 years ago-after 17 years of marriage, it's helpful to appreciate the good times and memories of your marriage while also looking ahead and forward to a new life with rich new experiences. Try to write a "new script" (story) about how you would like your life and your children's lives to be! If you haven't already read, "Who Moved My Cheese?" I would heartily recommend it! It's a great way to look at yourself and learn how to turn away from unfulfilled habits. If your divorce is likely, do the correct thing and be courageous-for there is life after divorce!

Bill
[censored].divorcedmansite.com


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